The Premier League takes a break this weekend, and so do the Arsenal.
It’s the FA Cup fifth round this weekend, which means Arsenal, who were eliminated in the third round, have the weekend off again.
Having played on Thursday night against Ostersunds FK, it’s a chance for the Arsenal team to relax in somewhat warmer climbs.
For the fans, though, there is an Arsenal-shaped void to fill.
Here are six ways you could fill them.
Who wants to watch Arsenal play, anyway? Unless it’s a home game, Arsenal have barely been worth the effort.
We spend all week anticipating the weekend’s action only to end up either frustrated, disappointed or a mixture of both.
It’s a tough thing to put ourselves our through, and we do it all the time because we want to. So sometimes, an enforced break can be a blessing, even if it did come at the expense of the FA Cup.
2. Laugh at our rivals in the FA Cup
Speaking of the FA Cup, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are all involved.
The odds of an upset are long but we could get the opportunity to laugh at one or two.
Spurs, for example, are away to Rochdale after their big Champions League game against Juventus. That’s a potential banana skin right there.
Then there’s United, away at Huddersfield, where they’ve already lost this season.
Football is a lot funnier when Arsenal aren’t involved, so if an upset does happen, make sure to enjoy it.
3. Get mad as our rivals play in the FA Cup
Alternatively, if the fact that Arsenal aren’t involved makes you froth at the mouth, you could watch on in bitter jealously.
You could lament how we couldn’t beat Nottingham Forest. Complain about the other teams having deeper squads. Make a point about not defending our trophy. And, as always, make sure you have that #WengerOut ready to go at the end of every tweet.
To be without a game this weekend is not a good thing, but a mark of failure. Arsenal should not be getting away with failure.
4. Steel ourselves for the big games to come
Let’s look ahead for a moment.
Arsenal’s remaining games in February are the second leg against Ostersunds FK and the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.
After that, it’s City again in the Premier League, followed by a dreaded away day at Brighton.
These are season defining games, and unlikely to be good for the heart. This weekend break will be rare respite from the stress that’s sure to arrive.
5. Enjoy some European football
If domestic football without the Arsenal is proving too much, there’s always the option of seeing what’s on in Europe.
Saturday sees Barcelona travel to tiny, plucky Eibar. You could also see how Gabriel and Coquelin are getting as Valencia travel down south to Malaga.
If you feel like you haven’t seen enough Bayern Munich this season, they’re away to Wolfsburg.
Then, on Sunday, you can see the Turin derby between Torino and Juventus, where Juve will probably be a lot more impressive than they were against Tottenham.
6. Take a break
Finally, there’s always the option of taking a break.
There’s so much football on nowadays that it’s hard to get away.
A weekend without Arsenal playing offers a rare chance to step away for a couple of days, detach ourselves from the hysteria of it all and come back in a brighter mood.